Understanding What Happens after Drunk Driving Accidents
Drunk driving is a top cause of accidents on the roads. To curb the rate of accidents due to drunk driving, most states have severe penalties on persons arrested for driving under the influence. Due to the stringent laws and penalties on drunk driving, studies show that the number of fatalities has significantly reduced in the past few years although it is still a significant concern because it is leading cause of death on the roads. On the other hand, a lot of victims of drunk driving are not conversant with their rights when the accidents happen. At the time of the accident, you might be confused about your next action, but you can reduce the confusion if you know a few things about drunk driving accidents in advance.
Alcohol has adverse effects on the proper functioning of the body because it impairs the functioning of the brain, thinking capacity and muscle coordination. Most organizations warn employees not to operate machines when under the influence because of poor body coordination. The effects of alcohol on the body worsen as you increase alcohol intake. In most states, a Breathalyzer is a gadget used to measure the blood alcohol concentration in the body. Even without the Breathalyzer, a police officer can identify a drunk driver by monitoring how he drives, and the outstanding pointers are erratic braking, swerving and making wrong turns.
The police can either start investigating a drunk driving incident at the scene or take the suspect to custody for interrogation. A Breathalyzer test would be performed first, and if it is positive, then the suspect is charged. If nobody was injured in the incident, the suspect would be left to regain sobriety and later released on bail awaiting trial. Possible punishment for such an offense might include; suspension of driving license for a period, rehabilitation or installation of a Breathalyzer in the car so that it does not start before testing driver’s sobriety.
However, the situation might be different if you hurt someone when driving under the influence and that depends on the actions of the victim and the extent of injuries. Suppose you are the only one injured, you will be charged with usual DUI, but if there is another casualty such as a pedestrian or motorist, the charge will be DUI causing injury. Suppose death has occurred as a result of DUI, you could be charged with the following; vehicular manslaughter, gross vehicular manslaughter or DUI murder.
You will obviously be punished for a DUI accident, but the severity of the accident will depend on whether there was property damage, injuries or deaths. Different sentences are available for DUI offense, and they might be minor or major. Depending on the details of the DUI accident, your insurance provider, may or may not compensate you if the vehicle is damaged. Some insurance companies might argue that DUI accident is intentional and thus, fail to compensate you.